Special Issue "Insights from Plant Genomes"

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A special issue of Biology (ISSN 2079-7737).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2013)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Tamas Dalmay

School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Recent developments in sequencing technology revolutionized molecular biology and had a big impact on plant science. Many genome sequencing projects have been completed generating an unprecedented amount of information. This information can shed light on how species evolved but also helps studying all aspects of plant life at a molecular level. As more and more crop species' genome is sequenced, translation of knowledge from model systems to crops become quicker and easier. This special issue will cover original research papers and reviews on the broad topic of plant genomes.

Professor Tamas Dalmay
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Sequence-Based Analysis of Structural Organization and Composition of the Cultivated Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) Genome
Biology 2014, 3(2), 295-319; doi:10.3390/biology3020295
Received: 30 October 2013 / Revised: 16 March 2014 / Accepted: 25 March 2014 / Published: 16 April 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (900 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Sunflower is an important oilseed crop, as well as a model system for evolutionary studies, but its 3.6 gigabase genome has proven difficult to assemble, in part because of the high repeat content of its genome. Here we report on the sequencing, assembly,
[...] Read more.
Sunflower is an important oilseed crop, as well as a model system for evolutionary studies, but its 3.6 gigabase genome has proven difficult to assemble, in part because of the high repeat content of its genome. Here we report on the sequencing, assembly, and analyses of 96 randomly chosen BACs from sunflower to provide additional information on the repeat content of the sunflower genome, assess how repetitive elements in the sunflower genome are organized relative to genes, and compare the genomic distribution of these repeats to that found in other food crops and model species. We also examine the expression of transposable element-related transcripts in EST databases for sunflower to determine the representation of repeats in the transcriptome and to measure their transcriptional activity. Our data confirm previous reports in suggesting that the sunflower genome is >78% repetitive. Sunflower repeats share very little similarity to other plant repeats such as those of Arabidopsis, rice, maize and wheat; overall 28% of repeats are “novel” to sunflower. The repetitive sequences appear to be randomly distributed within the sequenced BACs. Assuming the 96 BACs are representative of the genome as a whole, then approximately 5.2% of the sunflower genome comprises non TE-related genic sequence, with an average gene density of 18kbp/gene. Expression levels of these transposable elements indicate tissue specificity and differential expression in vegetative and reproductive tissues, suggesting that expressed TEs might contribute to sunflower development. The assembled BACs will also be useful for assessing the quality of several different draft assemblies of the sunflower genome and for annotating the reference sequence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insights from Plant Genomes)
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Open AccessArticle Analysis of T-DNA/Host-Plant DNA Junction Sequences in Single-Copy Transgenic Barley Lines
Biology 2014, 3(1), 39-55; doi:10.3390/biology3010039
Received: 4 November 2013 / Revised: 3 January 2014 / Accepted: 3 January 2014 / Published: 21 January 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (344 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sequencing across the junction between an integrated transfer DNA (T-DNA) and a host plant genome provides two important pieces of information. The junctions themselves provide information regarding the proportion of T-DNA which has integrated into the host plant genome, whilst the transgene flanking
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Sequencing across the junction between an integrated transfer DNA (T-DNA) and a host plant genome provides two important pieces of information. The junctions themselves provide information regarding the proportion of T-DNA which has integrated into the host plant genome, whilst the transgene flanking sequences can be used to study the local genetic environment of the integrated transgene. In addition, this information is important in the safety assessment of GM crops and essential for GM traceability. In this study, a detailed analysis was carried out on the right-border T-DNA junction sequences of single-copy independent transgenic barley lines. T-DNA truncations at the right-border were found to be relatively common and affected 33.3% of the lines. In addition, 14.3% of lines had rearranged construct sequence after the right border break-point. An in depth analysis of the host-plant flanking sequences revealed that a significant proportion of the T-DNAs integrated into or close to known repetitive elements. However, this integration into repetitive DNA did not have a negative effect on transgene expression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insights from Plant Genomes)
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Open AccessArticle Exploiting a Reference Genome in Terms of Duplications: The Network of Paralogs and Single Copy Genes in Arabidopsis thaliana
Biology 2013, 2(4), 1465-1487; doi:10.3390/biology2041465
Received: 25 September 2013 / Revised: 19 November 2013 / Accepted: 20 November 2013 / Published: 9 December 2013
PDF Full-text (9074 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Arabidopsis thaliana became the model organism for plant studies because of its small diploid genome, rapid lifecycle and short adult size. Its genome was the first among plants to be sequenced, becoming the reference in plant genomics. However, the Arabidopsis genome is characterized
[...] Read more.
Arabidopsis thaliana became the model organism for plant studies because of its small diploid genome, rapid lifecycle and short adult size. Its genome was the first among plants to be sequenced, becoming the reference in plant genomics. However, the Arabidopsis genome is characterized by an inherently complex organization, since it has undergone ancient whole genome duplications, followed by gene reduction, diploidization events and extended rearrangements, which relocated and split up the retained portions. These events, together with probable chromosome reductions, dramatically increased the genome complexity, limiting its role as a reference. The identification of paralogs and single copy genes within a highly duplicated genome is a prerequisite to understand its organization and evolution and to improve its exploitation in comparative genomics. This is still controversial, even in the widely studied Arabidopsis genome. This is also due to the lack of a reference bioinformatics pipeline that could exhaustively identify paralogs and singleton genes. We describe here a complete computational strategy to detect both duplicated and single copy genes in a genome, discussing all the methodological issues that may strongly affect the results, their quality and their reliability. This approach was used to analyze the organization of Arabidopsis nuclear protein coding genes, and besides classifying computationally defined paralogs into networks and single copy genes into different classes, it unraveled further intriguing aspects concerning the genome annotation and the gene relationships in this reference plant species. Since our results may be useful for comparative genomics and genome functional analyses, we organized a dedicated web interface to make them accessible to the scientific community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insights from Plant Genomes)
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Open AccessArticle Changes in RNA Splicing in Developing Soybean (Glycine max) Embryos
Biology 2013, 2(4), 1311-1337; doi:10.3390/biology2041311
Received: 20 September 2013 / Revised: 6 November 2013 / Accepted: 12 November 2013 / Published: 21 November 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (920 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Developing soybean seeds accumulate oils, proteins, and carbohydrates that are used as oxidizable substrates providing metabolic precursors and energy during seed germination. The accumulation of these storage compounds in developing seeds is highly regulated at multiple levels, including at transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation.
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Developing soybean seeds accumulate oils, proteins, and carbohydrates that are used as oxidizable substrates providing metabolic precursors and energy during seed germination. The accumulation of these storage compounds in developing seeds is highly regulated at multiple levels, including at transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation. RNA sequencing was used to provide comprehensive information about transcriptional and post-transcriptional events that take place in developing soybean embryos. Bioinformatics analyses lead to the identification of different classes of alternatively spliced isoforms and corresponding changes in their levels on a global scale during soybean embryo development. Alternative splicing was associated with transcripts involved in various metabolic and developmental processes, including central carbon and nitrogen metabolism, induction of maturation and dormancy, and splicing itself. Detailed examination of selected RNA isoforms revealed alterations in individual domains that could result in changes in subcellular localization of the resulting proteins, protein-protein and enzyme-substrate interactions, and regulation of protein activities. Different isoforms may play an important role in regulating developmental and metabolic processes occurring at different stages in developing oilseed embryos. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insights from Plant Genomes)
Open AccessArticle Pol IV-Dependent siRNA Production is Reduced in Brassica rapa
Biology 2013, 2(4), 1210-1223; doi:10.3390/biology2041210
Received: 27 August 2013 / Revised: 24 September 2013 / Accepted: 25 September 2013 / Published: 30 September 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (511 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Plants produce a diverse array of small RNA molecules capable of gene regulation, including Pol IV-dependent short interfering (p4-si)RNAs that trigger transcriptional gene silencing. Small RNA transcriptomes are available for many plant species, but mutations affecting the synthesis of Pol IV-dependent siRNAs are
[...] Read more.
Plants produce a diverse array of small RNA molecules capable of gene regulation, including Pol IV-dependent short interfering (p4-si)RNAs that trigger transcriptional gene silencing. Small RNA transcriptomes are available for many plant species, but mutations affecting the synthesis of Pol IV-dependent siRNAs are characterized only in Arabidopsis and maize, leading to assumptions regarding nature of p4-siRNAs in all other species. We have identified a mutation in the largest subunit of Pol IV, NRPD1, that impacts Pol IV activity in Brassica rapa, an agriculturally important relative of the reference plant Arabidopsis. Using this mutation we characterized the Pol IV-dependent and Pol IV-independent small RNA populations in B. rapa. In addition, our analysis demonstrates reduced production of p4-siRNAs in B. rapa relative to Arabidopsis. B. rapa genomic regions are less likely to generate p4-siRNAs than Arabidopsis but more likely to generate Pol IV-independent siRNAs, including 24 nt RNAs mapping to transposable elements. These observations underscore the diversity of small RNAs produced by plants and highlight the importance of genetic studies during small RNA analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insights from Plant Genomes)
Open AccessArticle Phylogenomics of MADS-Box Genes in Plants — Two Opposing Life Styles in One Gene Family
Biology 2013, 2(3), 1150-1164; doi:10.3390/biology2031150
Received: 6 August 2013 / Revised: 2 September 2013 / Accepted: 5 September 2013 / Published: 12 September 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1856 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The development of multicellular eukaryotes, according to their body plan, is often directed by members of multigene families that encode transcription factors. MADS (for MINICHROMOSOME MAINTENANCE1, AGAMOUS, DEFICIENS and SERUM RESPONSE FACTOR)-box genes form one of those families controlling nearly all major aspects
[...] Read more.
The development of multicellular eukaryotes, according to their body plan, is often directed by members of multigene families that encode transcription factors. MADS (for MINICHROMOSOME MAINTENANCE1, AGAMOUS, DEFICIENS and SERUM RESPONSE FACTOR)-box genes form one of those families controlling nearly all major aspects of plant development. Knowing the complete complement of MADS-box genes in sequenced plant genomes will allow a better understanding of the evolutionary patterns of these genes and the association of their evolution with the evolution of plant morphologies. Here, we have applied a combination of automatic and manual annotations to identify the complete set of MADS-box genes in 17 plant genomes. Furthermore, three plant genomes were reanalyzed and published datasets were used for four genomes such that more than 2,600 genes from 24 species were classified into the two types of MADS-box genes, Type I and Type II. Our results extend previous studies, highlighting the remarkably different evolutionary patterns of Type I and Type II genes and provide a basis for further studies on the evolution and function of MADS-box genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insights from Plant Genomes)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Insights into Chromatin Structure and Dynamics in Plants
Biology 2013, 2(4), 1378-1410; doi:10.3390/biology2041378
Received: 30 October 2013 / Revised: 15 November 2013 / Accepted: 18 November 2013 / Published: 28 November 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (697 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The packaging of chromatin into the nucleus of a eukaryotic cell requires an extraordinary degree of compaction and physical organization. In recent years, it has been shown that this organization is dynamically orchestrated to regulate responses to exogenous stimuli as well as to
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The packaging of chromatin into the nucleus of a eukaryotic cell requires an extraordinary degree of compaction and physical organization. In recent years, it has been shown that this organization is dynamically orchestrated to regulate responses to exogenous stimuli as well as to guide complex cell-type-specific developmental programs. Gene expression is regulated by the compartmentalization of functional domains within the nucleus, by distinct nucleosome compositions accomplished via differential modifications on the histone tails and through the replacement of core histones by histone variants. In this review, we focus on these aspects of chromatin organization and discuss novel approaches such as live cell imaging and photobleaching as important tools likely to give significant insights into our understanding of the very dynamic nature of chromatin and chromatin regulatory processes. We highlight the contribution plant studies have made in this area showing the potential advantages of plants as models in understanding this fundamental aspect of biology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insights from Plant Genomes)
Open AccessReview Next Generation Characterisation of Cereal Genomes for Marker Discovery
Biology 2013, 2(4), 1357-1377; doi:10.3390/biology2041357
Received: 16 August 2013 / Revised: 29 October 2013 / Accepted: 8 November 2013 / Published: 25 November 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (364 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cereal crops form the bulk of the world’s food sources, and thus their importance cannot be understated. Crop breeding programs increasingly rely on high-resolution molecular genetic markers to accelerate the breeding process. The development of these markers is hampered by the complexity of
[...] Read more.
Cereal crops form the bulk of the world’s food sources, and thus their importance cannot be understated. Crop breeding programs increasingly rely on high-resolution molecular genetic markers to accelerate the breeding process. The development of these markers is hampered by the complexity of some of the major cereal crop genomes, as well as the time and cost required. In this review, we address current and future methods available for the characterisation of cereal genomes, with an emphasis on faster and more cost effective approaches for genome sequencing and the development of markers for trait association and marker assisted selection (MAS) in crop breeding programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insights from Plant Genomes)
Open AccessReview DNA Damage Response in Plants: Conserved and Variable Response Compared to Animals
Biology 2013, 2(4), 1338-1356; doi:10.3390/biology2041338
Received: 12 September 2013 / Revised: 8 November 2013 / Accepted: 12 November 2013 / Published: 21 November 2013
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (613 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The genome of an organism is under constant attack from endogenous and exogenous DNA damaging factors, such as reactive radicals, radiation, and genotoxins. Therefore, DNA damage response systems to sense DNA damage, arrest cell cycle, repair DNA lesions, and/or induce programmed cell death
[...] Read more.
The genome of an organism is under constant attack from endogenous and exogenous DNA damaging factors, such as reactive radicals, radiation, and genotoxins. Therefore, DNA damage response systems to sense DNA damage, arrest cell cycle, repair DNA lesions, and/or induce programmed cell death are crucial for maintenance of genomic integrity and survival of the organism. Genome sequences revealed that, although plants possess many of the DNA damage response factors that are present in the animal systems, they are missing some of the important regulators, such as the p53 tumor suppressor. These observations suggest differences in the DNA damage response mechanisms between plants and animals. In this review the DNA damage responses in plants and animals are compared and contrasted. In addition, the function of SUPPRESSOR OF GAMMA RESPONSE 1 (SOG1), a plant-specific transcription factor that governs the robust response to DNA damage, is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insights from Plant Genomes)
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Open AccessReview Elucidation of Nuclear and Organellar Genomes of Gossypium hirsutum: Furthering Studies of Species Evolution and Applications for Crop Improvement
Biology 2013, 2(4), 1224-1241; doi:10.3390/biology2041224
Received: 18 September 2013 / Revised: 3 October 2013 / Accepted: 8 October 2013 / Published: 18 October 2013
PDF Full-text (179 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Plant genomes are larger and more complex than other eukaryotic organisms, due to small and large duplication events, recombination and subsequent reorganization of the genetic material. Commercially important cotton is the result of a polyploidization event between Old and New World cottons that
[...] Read more.
Plant genomes are larger and more complex than other eukaryotic organisms, due to small and large duplication events, recombination and subsequent reorganization of the genetic material. Commercially important cotton is the result of a polyploidization event between Old and New World cottons that occurred over one million years ago. Allotetraploid cotton has properties that are dramatically different from its progenitors—most notably, the presence of long, spinnable fibers. Recently, the complete genome of a New World cotton ancestral species, Gossypium raimondii, was completed. Future genome sequencing efforts are focusing on an Old World progenitor, G. arboreum. This sequence information will enable us to gain insights into the evolution of the cotton genome that may be used to understand the evolution of other plant species. The chloroplast genomes of multiple cotton species and races have been determined. This information has also been used to gain insight into the evolutionary history of cotton. Analysis of the database of nuclear and organellar sequences will facilitate the identification of potential genes of interest and subsequent development of strategies for improving cotton. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insights from Plant Genomes)

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